ghost of miles

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Arnaldur Indridason: The Draining Lake

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Finished James Cain's DOUBLE INDEMNITY last night...

So what's your ending preference, the movie or the book?

The movie. Maybe Raymond Chandler's contributions jazzed it up for me? Plus Cain's Phyllis gains with Barbara Stanwyck's portrayal IMO; I didn't find Walter's motivation in the novel quite as credible as it is in the movie. I liked the book, but I'd rank the film as even better.

Edited by ghost of miles

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I think I mentioned I was going to read Tony Judt. He is most famous for Postwar*, which is an overview of East and West Europe after WWII. I am going to order that, but doubt I'll read it anytime soon.

Instead, I checked out The Memory Chalet, which is a series of short meditations on his childhood and his thoughts on the state of higher education in the UK, the US and France. He composed these pieces towards the end of his life when he was suffering terribly from ALS. He's actually a more slippery character than I was led to believe (again a good argument for actually going to the original sources rather than relying on second-hand info). He strikes me a bit like Christopher Hitchens. He (Judt) broke from an early fascination with Marxism (and Zionism) but still viewed himself as on the left (maybe about where George Orwell found himself) and has many nasty things to say about New Labour, particularly when it supported the war in Iraq. At the same time, he is unabashedly an elitist when it comes to education. And he loathes the rise of identity studies as a legitimate academic enterprise, since it is at its heart narcissistic.

He sounds a bit like a professor I had early in my college career. I find myself agreeing with many of his asides, particularly a piece where he says that careers are largely accidental and contingent. Furthermore, his generation (the Boomers) did have an easier time finding interesting and meaningful work, then filled the slots and pulled up the ladders. Anyway, it was a short read.

I also checked out the second volume of Mencken's Prejudices (series 4-6). This looks far more interesting overall than series 1-3 in the first volume. I could see reading this mostly straight through, so I may even see if I can buy this volume as a stand-alone.

* Well, that and calling for a one-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

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Finished James Cain's DOUBLE INDEMNITY last night...

So what's your ending preference, the movie or the book?

The movie. Maybe Raymond Chandler's contributions jazzed it up for me? Plus Cain's Phyllis gains with Barbara Stanwyck's portrayal IMO; I didn't find Walter's motivation in the novel quite as credible as it is in the movie. I liked the book, but I'd rank the film as even better.

Actually, I felt his motivation in the novel more satisfying than in the book, but as for the ending, I prefer the movie, and while both endings would have worked in the book, I can't see the book ending working on film.

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Jonathan Evison: West Of Here

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Though I've read about 100 Simenon novels of one type or another, I don't think I've read this one before, found it in my "archive." Mine has the same cover with the exception that mine says 25 cents on the cover!

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Edited by jazzbo

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If Anthony Boucher liked it, that's good enough for me.

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I know what you mean.

It's depressing. But it's suposed to be.

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I've again been reading, in a hit-and-miss-manner, the two volume book, The Annotated Sherlock Holmes by William S. Baring-Gould, which I vastly prefer to the American annotated version done by Leslie S. Klinger that came out awhile back. I just think the one by Baring-Gould has a much better feel to it, the "tone" is more alive and correct. The Klinger version tries to be way too hip for my taste. When I first read it, there was a footnote that referenced the Seinfeld Show, and I hated that. Maybe I'm just too use to Baring-Gould, or too old fashioned, but give me British restraint and understatement anytime. This is a Desert Island book for me.

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I'm not familiar with the book, but the idea of finding a reference to Seinfeld in a Sherlock Holmes book annoys the heck out of me.

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I've again been reading, in a hit-and-miss-manner, the two volume book, The Annotated Sherlock Holmes by William S. Baring-Gould, which I vastly prefer to the American annotated version done by Leslie S. Klinger that came out awhile back. I just think the one by Baring-Gould has a much better feel to it, the "tone" is more alive and correct. The Klinger version tries to be way too hip for my taste. When I first read it, there was a footnote that referenced the Seinfeld Show, and I hated that. Maybe I'm just too use to Baring-Gould, or too old fashioned, but give me British restraint and understatement anytime. This is a Desert Island book for me.

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Just picked this up at my local thrift store. I'm thrilled, because I recall really wanting this when it first hit the bookshops in the 1970s and I was a boy of little means. I'm looking forward to revisiting the Holmes canon...

I'm not familiar with the book, but the idea of finding a reference to Seinfeld in a Sherlock Holmes book annoys the heck out of me.

Hear hear!

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Just polishing off the Tiger's Wife, which is as good as everyone's said. Also over the last week quite enjoyed Blood, Bones and Butter and The Believers, and would recommend both.

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I picked this up last week at a local used book store.

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This should be even more fun now that I'm old and bitter! :D

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Hakan Nesser - Borkmann's Point: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery

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I enjoyed this one. Has anyone read any of the others in this series?

Edited by alankin

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I wrapped up Shamsie's Burnt Shadows -- very powerful but somewhat depressing novel. I was expecting a different (happier?) ending.

The Lamplighter - Anthony O'Neill

My wife has been getting rid of some airport books in preparation for our upcoming move, and I've been dropping them off in the donation pile at the library. I decided to read this one, since it had a bit of a different vibe. It's set in Edinburgh in the early part of the 20th C. around the time when electricity was still just a fad and streets were still lit by gas light. This aspect was kind of squandered. Anyway, I hated, hated, hated this book. It is a total cheat on every level. The plot, such as it is, insists that you take supernatural beings seriously. I guess this is ok if that's what you know you are getting from the start, but to insert this into the middle of a police procedural seems very wrong to me. But mostly it wasn't the least bit frightening or eerie. I just can't believe it such good blurbs from reviewers and such a high number of 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon.

I will be returning to Lolita and wrapping that up, then will be working through my own stack of books that I intend to read once, then give away.

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Nick Stone: The King Of Swords (prequel to Mr. Clarinet)

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Spent a lot of time traveling and sitting in hospital waiting rooms this week; read three books.

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Just started part one of a trilogy

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Spent a lot of time traveling and sitting in hospital waiting rooms this week; read three books.

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This one looks interesting, how is it?

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Not as interesting as one might think. It's sort of schizophrenic, not cohesive. An overview of the "re-emergence tour" of '74 with The Band, with a sprinkling of rabbinic and extra-rabbinic thought to prop up a rather flimsy argument that Dylan is really following a Jewish singer/poet tradition with more intent than I believe likely.

Edited by jazzbo

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I don't know about the movies with Deneuve and Signoret, but the two books I have just finished Belle de Jour (Joseph Kessel) and Thérèse Raquin (Emile Zola) are masterpieces.

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